Friday, June 24, 2011

BRIDESMAIDS - chicks aside, pretty conservative

BRIDESMAIDS is getting massively hyped because, contra-vention, it's a bromance starring chicks and, shock, horror, chicks sometimes talk about sex! The reality is that, once you get over the shock of the all-female cast, BRIDESMAIDS is actually a deeply, boringly, conventional movie with a predictable plot, pedestrian direction, and over-written jokes. (Not to mention a random Irish cop - they try to make a joke about it - but seriously, why?) It all just makes me deeply depressed about how reactionary Hollywood is that such a simplistic gender-switcheroo can have everyone salivating.

Anyways, on to the plot, such as it is. Kristen Wiig plays Annie, a thirty something woman whose life is falling apart. Her business failed, she is divorced, her fuck-buddy treats her like shit, her house mates are kicking her out, and her boss is about to fire her. When her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) becomes engaged and, despite picking Annie to be her Maid of Honour, seems to be gravitating toward her new glamorous friend Helen (Rose Byrne), Annie has a mini-breakdown. The pressures of the wedding combined with Annie's low self-esteem, lead to her pissing off everyone who cares for her, not least Lillian and Officer Rhodes - a sweet police-officer whose attentions she scorns. Still, this being Hollywood schmaltz, you just know that all this pain is leading toward a moment of self-revelation, a last minute reconciliation with Lilian, and a Happy Ever After with Rhodes.

I didn't have a totally bad time watching this flick. It was funny enough to get me through the two-hour run-time, although I didn't as many did, laugh at Kristen Wiig's physical comedy and the gross-out humour of the entire cast. Rather, I was kept in play by Jon Hamm's hilariously oleaginous turn as the fuck-buddy; by Matt Lucas and Rebel Wilson as Annie's fat flat-mates; and by the normally very pretty Melissa McCarthy ugly-ing up as the butch Megan. I also liked how Rose Byrne managed to transform Helen from an out-and-out baddy into a really sympathetic character, whose insecurity was far more pitiable than Annie's. After all, Annie gets Rhodes while Helen stays where she is. Take a look at Rose Byrne's subtle double-take as she sees Annie look at Rhodes for what she thinks is the last time. Now that's good acting.

BRIDESMAIDS is on release in the USA, Canada, Romania, Slovenia, Iceland, Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Russia, Norway and the UK. It opens on July 7th in Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore and Estonia. It opens on July 22nd in Germany, Finland, Lithuania and Sweden. It opens on July 29th in Poland. It opens on August 4th in Denmark; on August 10th in France; on August 10th in France; on August 19th in Italy; on August 25th in Thailand; on August 28th in Spain and on September 9th in Brazil.

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